Archives for category: Crafty

I’m back to sewing. I did some sewing as a young teenager. There were a lot of baby doll dresses, a wild red jump suit, which some of you might remember. Then there was a bias cut sundress that just would not come out right. I have recently learned people call that a “wadder”. After that I didn’t sew much. I made a few bags without patterns, and once I designed a skirt. It actually came out pretty wearable. It was a pencil skirt made from light weight gray canvas with slits on both sides.

This skirt is the opposite. It’s a bright pink baby wale corduroy poofy mini.

I’m not sure how flattering it actually is, but I wanted to start my sewing renaissance with the simplest project. I don’t think you get any simpler than the elastic waste skirt. I’m trying to be really systematic about learning to sew again, so I don’t run into game ending frustrations. I’m also attempting to be very patient and follow all instructions exactly. This pattern is a Sew New Learning the Basics pattern, so it has extra instructions that most patterns don’t have, like ironing each seam after you stitch it. Doing so seemed to give the skirt a more polished, crisp feel. Overall I’m happy with how the skirt came out. The sandals are Kors Michael Kors. I found them at Buffalo Exchange a few weeks ago. I LOVE them and have been wearing them all the time.

Thanks for everything Dads! What would we do without you?

My Awesome Dad got this:

No, he doesn’t have really long hair. That’s me. Maybe this summer I can get a picture of him in his hat. I knit it using this pattern I found on Ravelry. The decreases make this cool swirl on the top of the hat:

Ehhhh. I didn’t bother getting out my tripod and had a hard time photographing the top of my head. Oh, well, you can kind of see what I’m talking about. It’s like a pin wheel shape on top.

I was waiting for the circular needles I ordered to arrive (I made my first foray into the world of nice needles and bought a pair of Addi Turbos), but I got impatient and knit it on some double pointed needles I already had. They’re metal and I had lots of problems with stitches sliding off. On the upside I was forced to figure out how to pick up dropped stitches. Eventually I got frustrated and came up with this cork based system:

It worked but, man, if I ever make anything on double pointed needles again, they’ll have to be wooden. I do want to make some leg warmers that are knit on dpns, though I think there is an Addi Lace tiny tiny circular needle, maybe even as small as 8 inches. I might have to look into that.

 

I recently sewed this lil’ buddy:

We were calling it Catbear. It’s for AS’s baby who is due this summer. I made it out of hot pink baby whale corduroy. The face is embroidery thread. I used this pattern. I changed it up a bit. I left off the muzzle and did the face differently.

Then I made this lil’ guy:

We’ve been calling him Pillow Guy. He went to a friend’s new baby. He’s made from an old cashmere sweater. I now have a reason to buy the thrift store cashmere sweater that seems perfect (yeah!), but on closer inspection has holes (no!). Oh no, I feel a bout of fabric hording coming on.

I used the same pattern as Catbear, but I tried to make it a little bigger. Somehow I mostly just made him wider, more pillowy. I didn’t have embroidery thread in the right color, so I improvised and just used a few strands of regular thread. I do not recommend this method. I was a mega pain. The thread really wanted to tangle. When I made a stitch all the threads wouldn’t come through evenly. Then when I pulled on the stitch to even it out it would get really tight on a few strands but stay all baggy on the problem strand. Whatevs. I’m just saying lots of threads do not equal embroidery thread.

Aww look they’re friends.

Things have been pretty crafty around here. In addition to the sewing, I’ve also been learning or relearning to knit. My knitting history consists of my Mom casting on for me, me knitting a goofy scarf, my Mom casting off for me. Times two. In my new I-can-do-it-all-by-myself phase of knitting, I made this simple cowl. By all by myself, I mean with the help of my YouTube teacher Elsteffo.

It’s knit from a bamboo wool blend. I got it at Joann’s.

Also, it’s handy if you feel like you suddenly need to hide. You’ll be the person inside the big red tube. Very inconspicuous. Nobody will see you.

This is my sewing machine. GM hooked me up with it not long before I moved to Los Angeles. It was her friend’s mother’s or grandmother’s. I lugged it out here, but I just got around to checking it out.

It’s a Singer Touch and Sew – II.

Judging from the looks of the manual, I think it’s from the late 70s. I’m so grateful and impressed that the previous owner still had the manual

and all the attachments

and all these disk that you use to make different kinds of stitches.

The first step (after the dusting) was getting the bobbin case back in place, so I could wind a bobbin.

Getting the bobbin case securely back in place turned out to be tricky even with the manual, which again I am so grateful to have. The instructions were basically slide the case in, turn, and then move that black metal shape on the right towards the left to hold the case in place. That all sounded good, but the black thing would hardly move. When I tried to wind a bobbin, the case would jump out of place and the thread would jam up. I got AVO involved and we used tiny pliers–my jewelery pliers–to lift the black piece up and force it to the right. This seemed like the kind of forcing that you are never supposed to do with delicate machinary, but it worked! I was able to wind a bobbin. I used the pink thread that came on the machine. Then I tried to sew and the tension was way off. All I got was lumps and knots. It turned out that unthreading the machine and rethreading it while looking at the manual fixed this. It came to me threaded, and I had just put the thread through the needle, but something about how it was threaded was off. Yeay, for easy fixes!

Then I made this necklace/scarf from an old T-shirt.

It only involved a little sewing, mostly it’s about braiding, but still I did actually use my new sewing machine to make something, so I was super pumped.

The necklace can also be worn doubled up. This is how I’ve been wearing it.

I used the directions from this site. I now want one in every color and I want to experiment with patterned fabric.

Fixed necklace two:

This necklace was from the Salvation Army in Hadley and I LOVE it. It was a real go to until it broke. It was originally strung on monofilament which my research (and experience) has told me is bad. From what I can tell, coated metal wire is what the beading community currently recommends.

Fixed necklace three:

Necklace three was my design from a few years ago and the only thing I’d beaded until now. The amber was from my dad, I think in the form of bracelets. I combined them with silver spacers, but I strung them in an ad hoc way and the necklace broke a while ago. I just restrung it and added more silver spacers to the back section to increase the length.

After I fixed necklace three, I made this:

These are green milk glass beads from Michael’s or Joanne’s. I had put the amber necklace on after I finished it, and I still had it on when I finished this one, which I thew on too. I wouldn’t have thought to wear them together, but their paths crossed on my neck, and I liked what I saw. I wore them both all day yesterday.

There isn’t much that needs to be said about this t-shirt. It’s from a thrift shop in Dillon, CO, and I got it while shopping with WV during our cross-country trip. Of course, this makes it extra special to me. Not that it really needed sentimental meaning to secure high office in Favorite-town. We’re already working with stripes, aqua, olive green and three quarter length sleeves. All “specialies” to me.

Special to me

As we consider the necklace, the words we should keep in mind are: versatility and golden. The golden part is self-evident. On to versatility. So, you’ve seen version one. Well, now this is happening:

You feel like you just saw Transformers, right?

And this:

Mind blown?

Wait, there’s more (and this is the biggie):

You're flippin' now

You: Whaaaaaat?! Where’s the necklace?

Me: It’s a bracelet now!

You (incredulous, shocked): NO!

Me: Yes.

Hey, remember the words I said we should keep in mind were versatility and golden. You have now witnessed golden versatility. Now, raise your hand if you want to see me wear it as a belt!

This post is brought to you per request of R.R.

Last night we went to two Halloween parties, a Haunted-House-Art-Show house party and a GMO-Rave-Luau. I was dressed like this:

Umm, can I go to bed now? It's 3 in the morning, and I am literally about to turn into a pumpkin.

As you can see I was out way late. As a result I had to sleep all morning and yet am still too tired to go to the parties that were on the docket for tonight. What gives?

The red blazer is from a Goodwill in Santa Monica. I almost bought it one day, but got into the checkout line and thought “what am I doing?!” before putting it back on the rack. The next day I thought “what I have I done?” I went back and happily found it was STILL THERE! I know! Can you believe nobody had scooped this baby up?

But wait, there’s more!

 

Wait for it…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a TWO person costume:

Holy, matchy-matchy! That is spooky.

A.V.O. received his blazer as a kind of passing of the torch. It has now been worn on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween. Come to think of it, it totally does deserve a raise. Anyway, now that you know about A.V.O.’s red blazer (I couldn’t tell you before because I didn’t want to ruin the double-Christmas-Halloween surprise) you can fully understand how much I was toying with fate when I didn’t immediately jump at my chance to join The Red Blazer Club. What else could we have worn? Nothing, obviously this was meant to be.

The hats are via the Dollar Store which DOES, thank the Lord, sell Christmas goods before Halloween. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would have me singing a store’s praises. See, never say never.

We have the dollar store to thank for these flourishes as well:

It's all in the details.

The ornaments-cum-earrings felt so heavy when I was dancing that I feared, probably irrationally, I would experience the dreaded earring pull-through and had to turn them into a necklace. I thought that work too, though. The mini plaid present is really freakin’ cute. I’m talking puppy cute. What could be in it? Candy? Jewels?

Happy Halloween, ya’ll!

*************

Note: this costume is a homage to the greatest TV show ever, Arrested Development. You know, the one where Lucille’s housekeeper is wearing a Halloween sweatshirt at Christmas?

Ooops I did it again. I took another super long skirt and tacked the hem to the inside of the waistband thus making a bubble skirt. Done, and done. And yes, if you look very closely, you’ll see there are elephants in the pattern!

Okay, because you asked so nicely, you can have a detail shot.

This was a really long skirt. I just tacked the hem to the inside of the waist band to make a bubble skirt, a kind of maxi-mini.